Mediation training provides a good start to a career in conflict resolution and mediation, and also a good addition to your skills for working in other positions. This page tells you more about these programs, where you can find them, and what jobs are open to you after graduation.
What is conflict resolution or mediation?
One of the most valuable tools you need to have in your human resource management toolbox is the ability to handle conflicts with co-workers and other personnel. Lets face it, when we spend the majority of our waking hours and life working with other people, it is highly probable that we are not always going to see eye to eye. The process by which disputes and conflicts are handled is called conflict resolution or mediation.
Training in mediation or conflict resolution is not only useful in ensuring that you can coexist amicably with workers, it is also useful for starting out on a career in mediation or human resources. For information on human resources programs go to the undergraduate degree or masters HR pages.
Very often, training is taught as part of a mediation or conflict resolution masters, but it can also be taught in short certificate or diploma courses. The following is a list of selected schools offering a mediation or conflict resolution degree, or similar program.
Being able to deal with conflict and ultimately resolve it is a skill that can be taught through training. There are many human resource and personnel departments within large corporations that have specialists who master this area on a daily basis.
In this field there are several programs of study of various lengths that are available, from short course certificates through to full masters and PhDs, but usually taken at graduate level. These programs typically include development of people skills, conflict management, alternative dispute resolution, nonverbal communication, training and development, and employee relations.
Once you have completed all your training and received your degree or certification, there are many careers in mediation or conflict resolution you can follow. Industries such as healthcare, commercial industry, banking and finance, higher education, state and federal government and the military are all fields that utilize services provided by graduates of these programs. The opportunities are very diverse and are available not only nationwide, but also world wide.
Some of the jobs that are available in this field include safety and parole officer, employee counselor, guidance counselor, human resource educator, personnel trainer, negotiator and arbitrator. You can apply your education and skills in several different areas of emphasis. Some of these positions are very intense and require a very high level of mediation skills, while others are more along the line of compliance and monitoring of behaviors, and require conflict management skills.
Also, there are conflict resolution management and director level positions that are available. These positions typically require at least a few years of previous related experience and a masters in conflict resolution. A portfolio and resume of your job experience, diversion programs you were involved in, policies and procedures you helped to create, etc., would be excellent accomplishments to share when given the opportunity.
Many police departments, bomb squads and military agencies rely on specialists with mediation training. This is because many times they are called upon to help negotiate or lead the offender to consider a compromised bargain in return for their surrender. These are very intense situations that call for very well trained professionals. There have been many successful resolutions to local, state, national and global conflicts thanks in part to the professional skills offered by those trained in conflict resolution.
In the sports industry, when dealing with contract negotiations, owners, agents and the athlete, having a skilled professional in conflict resolution present in these meetings is crucial to the success of how it turns out. Not everyone involved has the ability to seek common interests and benefits and the aptitude to bring all sides together.
Regardless of the particular interests of the graduate, training in mediation can provide endless opportunities and lead to excellent salary and benefits too. This is generally because of the elevated risk associated with some of the roles and responsibilities associated with mediation jobs.
Browse the schools below to find a suitable school and program. Request information from several schools and compare the admission requirements and course content before you choose a program.
Wanjira Kinuthia, Georgia State University
Stewart Marshall, The University of the West Indies
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